Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Well, that's bad for the show.  I like Elsass and his performance - I thought he had a lot of charisma.  I don't like recasting, but I don't know if Superman & Lois wants to do a show where one of their kids is gone (they'd almost certainly not kill him off).

The whole thing is really weird to me.  The vaccines work.  They don't work in terms of stopping the spread, but that wasn't really the point.  People were dying and the vaccines can prepare your body to fight without the risk of you dying.  Just like the flu shot doesn't keep you from getting the flu - it gives you some protection from that and helps you fight off the virus if you happen to get it.

The problem is that, with the Internet, you can build yourself an echo chamber.  You block opinions you don't like, and suddenly all the opinions you see look like yours.  Over time, "everyone agrees with you" and the opposition is some sort of crazy minority.

I saw this with the Trump raid online.  People saying "most of the country is mad about this" - well, no.  Most of the country probably doesn't really care.  1/3 of people didn't vote in the last election.  1/4 didn't even register.  Of the 2/3 that did vote, at least half of them wouldn't be angry about it.  And of the 1/3 that might, most of them probably don't care enough about Trump to get mad about any kind of persecution.  But if you surround yourself with people that are really mad about it, suddenly it seems like everyone is really mad about it.

With vaccines, you block out people that are celebrating the vaccines, and you start following more people who are against them.  You find people that say the same things you say, and you start to trust them.  So when you hear them say that "healthy young people are dropping dead at sporting events", you trust that even though there's no evidence of that.  And the excuses are at least plausible - the pharmaceutical industry probably has had some immoral scandals so maybe they're covering it up to make money.  Maybe the corrupt media is in on it.  And if you accept the plausible excuses, is it that far to accept the implausible ones about mind control? 

People like feeling apart of something.  Even if it's stupid, even if it's alienating to people you liked before, even if it's making you sad or angry.  Finding people that think like you feels good.

I'm sure Elsass was tricked by something or someone.  He probably genuinely believes what he says, and he probably genuinely wants to keep people from doing what he sees is a mistake.  But hopefully he's discovered that he's wrong, and hopefully he gets help.  And hopefully he gets vaccinated.

Because I think he's a promising actor.  He's charismatic and good looking, and people have gone on to great careers after CW work.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Jordan Elsass is mentally ill and needs help. From what I can tell, the antivaccine trickery started with his mother who blamed some infant health problems he had on his vaccinations and attempted to sue the Arkansas Department of Health in an incoherent filing claiming that her son became autistic. I can't say whether or not Elsass is or isn't autistic, but this antivaxxer delusion started at home.

Elsass was surrounded by vaxxed and boosted coworkers for all of Season 2, so his adherence to his antivaxxer value system is probably due to a family-driven indoctrination that social media undoubtedly deepened. His absurd value system led to a difficult time in Season 2 where pandemic protocols were relaxed for the S+L cast and crew but not for Elsass whose studio-mandated lockdown never ended because it was the only way for it to be safe to film around him.

The segregation and loneliness clearly made him crack even as he adhered to his belief that vaccinations are dangerous and evil; he was ostracized by his castmates from all social functions. He said on social media that restaurants and other businesses refused him entry because he couldn't offer a vaccine receipt back when Canada was still requiring it for indoor public spaces. He was probably under strain because his belief is that vaccines are deadly and dangerous and yet, nobody on S+L died from their 3 - 4 doses and the cognitive confusion there would have been disorienting.

He said that he was checking into a mental ward for a two week hold and would then go to Vancouver for Season 3 of S+L; he never made it back to Vancouver.

It is encouraging that Elsass recognized that he was having a mental breakdown and sought help even though he didn't seem to see that his refusal to vaccinate was making it difficult for him to work, alienating him from his coworkers and now his refusal to meet pandemic protocol quarantine requirements for an unvaccinated actor has cost him an excellent job and probably his career. Elsass is to be pitied and I hope he is still in care and can free himself of what was inflicted on him by some truly bad parenting and self-destructive choices.

However, I think it's for the best that SUPERMAN AND LOIS is free from having to work with an anti-vaxxer actor even if said actor was a brilliant talent. They are probably going to be a lot happier working this year and they can find a new actor for Jonathan who can live up to Superman's values of truth, justice and a better tomorrow (that's right, they changed it).

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

The Warner Discovery actions are getting sleazier.  HBOmax has been removing content lately as a “cost cutting measure”, but how would that action save significant money?  The reason is residuals.

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2022/08/19/her … tform.html

By not having the content available to view, Warner Discovery does not have to pay anything to the creators.  On just the things they’ve already removed, it is saving the studio millions while creators are left out in the cold.

https://mobile.twitter.com/juliapott/st … 4594082816

Such as Julia Pott who is a creator from the cartoon Summer Camp Island.  Cartoon Network has at least pledged to continue airing the series so that the creators will get residual through that means.

This is already affecting DC content as well.  The recent Aquaman: King of Atlantis was pulled.  How long before the DCAU or Arrowverse is taken off?

These are some really poor business practices all around for Warner Discovery.  I remember Zaslov before the merger stating he was creator focused and wanted to give them a compelling environment to come work for Warner Discovery.  What he’s done since has been very much the opposite

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I had hoped David Zaslav would not be doing a slash and burn on WB-Discovery, but I think it's clear that's his only plan. The agreement between HBO Max and creators is that HBO Max would get the money for subscriptions brought in by the content and then creators would get residuals for ongoing viewing. HBO Max has pocketed the subscription money and then ceased residual payments. Will any talent want to work with WB's film or streaming content departments if this is how WB does business with BATGIRL and other HBO Max projects?

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

More perspective from the creator of Infinity Train:

https://owendennis.substack.com/p/so-uh … h-infinity

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Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

DC/Warners is a total disaster now.  Reading that Star Girl, the only show I watch on CW, probably will end with this 3rd season.  Titans is horrible, get rid of it.  Doom Patrol I love but it too seems to be on the way to nowhere.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

TITANS... has its merits. I just don't care for them. But we all know that there is an audience for miserable, grimdark, self-loathing, hateful superhero shows. Someone out there likes it.

I've heard that the STARGIRL team is planning to do a season finale that can work as a series finale if there isn't a renewal and that the SUPERMAN AND LOIS team is also thinking about how they can do the same.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Could Universal Studios end up the home of Superman, Bugs Bunny and Scooby Doo in the end?

https://bleedingcool.com/tv/warner-bros … universal/

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I guess Zaslav's plan is to slash, burn and sell.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

What a disaster.  It would've been so easy for Warner Bros to create their version of the MCU.  Superman/Wonder Woman/Batman would've been so much easier to sell than Iron Man/Thor/Captain America.  But they squandered their time and then rushed it once they knew what they were missing out.  If they could've just done it first (which they easily had the power to do), then they wouldn't have the money issues they have now.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

All DC Warner had to do was follow the DCAU example into live action.  Those creators even created one of their most popular characters now - Harley Quinn.

Word was that the 2007 George Miller Justice League read like a DCAU story, so they were flirting in that direction.  Even if it wasn’t a bullseye, it would have beat Marvel to the punch.

https://collider.com/george-miller-just … explained/

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

David Zaslav clearly wants to burn WB down and sell off the rubble. The previous regime couldn't get their act together on superheroes. But... I will point out that DC superheroes are a *lot* more expensive to bring to live action than Marvel superheroes. This was a huge stumbling block for DC.

Look at SMALLVILLE (2001) and HEROES (2006), two network TV shows that featured superheroes in plain clothes with limited powers. The showrunners said this made the shows grounded and believable; obviously, this was a budget decision. It was financially impossible to show characters flying or demonstrating super strength in extended or plausible scenes. That's why SMALLVILLE and HEROES never had onscreen superhero fights.

SUPERMAN RETURNS (2006) showed Superman using all his powers in full, but Superman needed a $330 million budget. In contrast SMALLVILLE and HEROES had $3 - 4 million an episode. (All figures adjusted for inflation.) Superpowers were extremely expensive.

Marvel had an advantage during 2008 - 2012 with Phase One of Marvel: the IRON MAN, THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA movies could be made for $190 million each because Iron Man doesn't need to look like a flesh and blood human, Thor's power is through the hammer and Captain America is effectively a street level powered superhero. That's how AVENGERS (2012) could cost $283 million and feature a superhero team while MAN OF STEEL (2013) cost another $330 million just for Superman alone. (All figures adjusted for inflation)

Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg and Green Lantern have to look like actual humans and have to have extremely detailed powers: Superman and Wonder Woman's flight and strength are an extremely intricate set of effects coordinated between performer and set. The Flash needs superspeed environments. Aquaman needs water environments. Cyborg is half CG-half actor. Green Lantern needs extensive green energy constructs. This was very costly for live action from 2008 - 2012. There's a reason why the first Berlanti Productions superhero show was ARROW (2012), a street level character without superpowers.

AVENGERS was also the product of a very different financial culture from Warner Bros. Warner Bros. produced MAN OF STEEL (2013) with lavish sets, extensive location filming, years of effects development and high priced actors. In contrast, AVENGERS (2012) was filmed more like a Berlanti TV show: a TV director, extensive use of soundstages with CG, even for outdoor scenes like the Battle of New York City, actors who were not (yet) stars. Warner Bros. has historically been unwilling to make their superheroes films with these measures.

Beginning in 2013, advances in digital modelling and motion capture and CG environments and sets (for movies) began to bring costs down. As a result, Berlanti Productions could bring the THE FLASH (2014) and SUPERGIRL (2015) to TV on $3 - 5 million budgets that were previously limited to SMALLVILLE and HEROES levels of effects. SUPERGIRL proved that a modestly budgeted TV production could do Superman with costs having fallen and technology having risen.

If Warner Bros. had adopted Berlanti Productions cost-saving methods to BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN (2016) and JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017), those movies could have earned just as much as they did but turned a profit thanks to lower production costs. Instead, WB insisted on making BVS and JL with a production method where both movies cost about $360 million each (adjusted for inflation). A film needs to earn approximately three times its production budget just to recoup its budget on production, marketing and theatre costs; BVS and JL would need to earn at least $1.1 billion in ticket sales. BVS broke even but didn't earn a profit with 1.1 billion at box office (adjusted for inflation). JUSTICE LEAGUE lost money, earning only 795 million (adjusted for inflation).

I'm only just catching up on SUPERMAN AND LOIS now, but it looks almost as good as a Zack Snyder extravaganza. It is only at $7 - 8 million an episode instead of the full $340 million, and the effects don't have the same slow motion ready detail, but we're seeing Superman fly, fire heat vision, lift heavy objects, fight at superspeed. Filming in Vancouver and using TV payscale actors and getting as much money on the screen as possible has proven to allow for a Snyder-level of storytelling with around $120 million for 15 episodes as opposed to $340 million for one movie.

DC characters were extremely expensive when this superhero craze finally hit mainstream with IRON MAN in 2008. Yes, Marvel was smarter and faster and more strategic, but to be fair, WB started with one foot in a financial hole because their characters' effects budgets were more costly than the competition's.

Unfortunately, WB kept digging themselves into a deeper hole even when Berlanti Productions showed them a ladder.

(All figures adjusted for inflation.)

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Well, that's bad for the show.  I like Elsass and his performance - I thought he had a lot of charisma.  I don't like recasting, but I don't know if Superman & Lois wants to do a show where one of their kids is gone (they'd almost certainly not kill him off).

Elsass' replacement is an actor named Michael Bishop who looks a lot like Elsass. I think this will be just fine.

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Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I just finished Season 2, Episode 6 of SUPERMAN AND LOIS. In addition to being a very well-written show, SUPERMAN AND LOIS makes the argument that there is absolutely no reason to spend $340 million on a Superman movie anymore. SUPERMAN AND LOIS can make a great episode for $7 million that looks just as good as a Zack Snyder movie (Superman stops an avalanche!). SUPERMAN AND LOIS could make a great Superman movie for $30 million.

Location filming outside Vancouver isn't needed when effects and digital backdrops can situate the characters anywhere. Fight scenes on a TV budget have proven just as lavish as a film so long as the money on locations, sets and actors are distributed effectively. With just a bit more money, the Vancouver production model for TV has proven that it can compete with the feature film and do as good a job with a lot less money and a lot more love and care.

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Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I'm only on Season 2, Episode 10 of SUPERMAN AND LOIS, but I have to say, S+L is shaping up again to be a bit like a Zack Snyder Superman movie but produced by a team that actually likes Superman. I note that S+L, like Snyder, has a certain intrigue and interest with the idea of an evil Superman; the mass murdering Superman from John Henry Irons' world, the egotistical and deadly Superman from the Bizarro world.

However, S+L is always careful to declare that these versions of Superman are not the *real* Superman; that the genuine Superman is formed by a very specific set of life experiences on the Kent farm and with Lois Lane and with weaknesses on his powers that have given him humility, compassion and self-control.

In contrast, the evil-Supermans are always underguided or overpowered in some way. The alternate Superman in Season 1 was a fully Kryptonian, conquering alien invader who never had a grounded upbringing among ordinary people. The alternate Superman in Season 2 is a violent and self-absorbed celebrity who was overpowered by green Kryptonite and didn't have the limitations that helped Clark master and control and restrain his powers. The true Superman doesn't have a 'pure' cultural origin and doesn't have the heightened powers, but that shapes his heroism while the other Supermans lack it. This allows the show to present a Snyder-style Superman, but as alternate images and divergent versions of the real Superman.